Holliday debut a big hit

Cardinal gets four hits; Lugo homers

Matt Holliday got going right off the bat with the Cardinals, singling in his first at-bat just hours after he was traded from the Athletics. Matt Holliday got going right off the bat with the Cardinals, singling in his first at-bat just hours after he was traded from the Athletics. (Tim Shaffer/Reuters)
Associated Press / July 25, 2009

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Matt Holliday hopped off a train, joined his new team, and made an immediate contribution .

Holliday went 4 for 5 with an RBI to back Joel Pineiro, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Phillies, 8-1, last night in Philadelphia in a matchup of division leaders.

Acquired from Oakland for a package of prospects earlier in the day, Holliday had two soft hits and a stolen base to help the Cardinals build a 5-0 lead. He ripped a double in the seventh and got his second infield single in the ninth.

“I was lucky, but I’ll take them,’’ Holliday said after tying a career high with his 15th four-hit outing. “How many times do you hit the ball hard and make outs?’’

The three-time All-Star outfielder significantly bolsters St. Louis’s lineup for the stretch drive. And he wasn’t the only newcomer contributing with the bat: Julio Lugo homered and tripled in his first game since being acquired from the Red Sox this week.

With Pineiro (9-9) on the mound last night, the NL Central-leading Cardinals didn’t need much offense. He tossed six scoreless innings, allowing four hits.

Rays 4, Blue Jays 2 - Evan Longoria hit a two-run double in the 10th inning and visiting Tampa Bay spoiled what could have been Roy Halladay’s final start with Toronto.

Halladay, the most sought-after player available on the trade market, struck out 10 in nine innings, but the Rays scored against Scott Downs (1-2).

Giants 3, Rockies 1 - Matt Cain (12-2) became the major league’s second 12-game winner, scattering three hits over seven innings and visiting San Francisco beat Colorado to pull even with the Rockies in the NL wild-card race.

Tigers sweep White Sox, 5-1, 4-3 - Clete Thomas drew a bases-loaded walk from Scott Linebrink in the eighth inning to force home the tiebreaking run, and host Detroit swept a doubleheader from Chicago to increase its AL Central lead to two games over the White Sox. Justin Verlander (11-5) pitched a six-hitter in the opener to outduel Jose Contreras (4-9).

Marlins 6, Dodgers 3 - Pinch-hitter Jeremy Hermida drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, pinch-hitter Chris Coghlan homered in the eighth, and visiting Florida rolled behind All-Star Josh Johnson (9-2), who snapped LA’s five-game winning streak.

Astros 5, Mets 4 - Mike Hampton hit a two-run homer off Johan Santana and host Houston beat New York.

Cubs 8, Reds 5 - Aramis Ramirez homered, doubled twice, singled and drove in three runs in his most productive game since coming off the disabled list, leading host Chicago to its eighth win in 11 games.

Padres 6, Nationals 2 - Rookie Mat Latos pitched into the sixth inning to notch his first career victory, light-hitting Luis Rodriguez homered and matched a career high with three RBIs, and visiting San Diego snapped its five-game skid.

Angels 6, Twins 3 - John Lackey (6-4) shrugged off a pair of solo homers by AL batting leader Joe Mauer to win his third straight start, and Robb Quinlan, Jeff Mathis and Mike Napoli each homered in host Los Angeles’s seventh straight win.

Indians 9, Mariners 0 - Travis Hafner hit a two-run homer and Ryan Garko added a three-run shot to give Aaron Laffey (4-2) and Cleveland all they needed to win in Seattle.

Rangers 2, Royals 0 - Scott Feldman outpitched Zack Greinke with eight scoreless innings, Marlon Byrd homered, and visiting Texas handed Kansas City its 10th consecutive defeat.

Braves 9, Brewers 4 - Chipper Jones, Martin Prado, and Nate McLouth homered and Javier Vazquez struck out nine in seven innings, lifting visiting Atlanta to its seventh win in nine games.

Pirates 10, Diamondbacks 3 - Rookie Garrett Jones hit his 10th home run, a two-run shot in the fifth inning that put visiting Pittsburgh ahead for good.

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